Veterans and Behavioral Health

Veterans and Behavioral Health

Patriotism this coming Independence Day should include serious consideration of our war veterans. 

Did you know that 75% of all vets wounded in the last 20 years report experiencing a serious mental health concern? According to a Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) survey, many are reluctant to seek help or don’t know where to turn. Too often, they turn to alcohol and drugs to “medicate” their anxiety, depression, and grief. 

More than 7,000 service members gave their lives and hundreds of thousands more were wounded either physically or mentally since the War on Terror began after 9/11. The invisible wounds of  war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have been called the signature wound of the post-9/11 generation.

Approximately 1 in 5 veterans reported difficulty or delays in receiving or continuing professional mental health care. Of those warriors, nearly 4 in 5 (78%) said they want to solve the problem on their own, and 2 in 3 feel embarrassed or ashamed about getting such care. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) are unsure where to find the care. Over 87% feel that people who are not in the military do not understand their experience.

Female vets especially face unique obstacles when it comes to feeling supported among their peers and access to health care. Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population; therefore, there’s a growing demand to understand their experiences and provide the necessary support. For example, the WWP survey data shows that female warriors are significantly more likely than males to report being lonely. In addition, nearly 7 in 10 (67%) of WWP female respondents reported experiencing military sexual trauma (MST), compared with approximately 6% of male warriors.

There are heavy burdens to live with. The National Center on PTSD reports that more than 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also have an SUD. A separate June 2021 study released by Brown University showed that more than 30,000 post-9/11 active-duty personnel and veterans have been lost to suicide. That’s 1.5 times the rate of suicide in the general population If you know a veteran who needs help, call L.A. CADA at (562) 906-2676 for referrals and assistance. To find out more, watch: Navy Seals and SUD.

  • and/or being a witness to any of the above traumatic events.

Individuals with PTSD and trauma disorder can both suffer from avoidance of the place or situation in which the traumatic event occurred, feeling nervous or fearful, insomnia, and may develop low self-esteem.   Help is available. Call L.A. CADA at (562) 906-2676 for referrals and assistance. Find out more: PTSD, Alcohol, and Drugs

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